Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand advocated cooperation on the COVID-19 response and economic recovery at the 11th Mekong - Ganga (India) Cooperation Ministerial Meeting

Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand advocated cooperation on the COVID-19 response and economic recovery at the 11th Mekong - Ganga (India) Cooperation Ministerial Meeting

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 23 Jul 2021

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 13 Aug 2022

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The Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand proposed 4Ps for future Mekong-Ganga (India) Cooperation (MGC), including (1) a new Plan of Action (PoA) to boost strategic relevance, (2) public health, especially equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, (3) post-COVID-19 recovery through connectivity and digitalisation, and (4) promoting synergy between MGC and ACMECS and other frameworks at the 11th Mekong - Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting.

On 21 July 2021, H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, attended the 11th Mekong - Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting via video conference, on behalf of H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.

The Meeting reviewed MGC’s achievements in the past 20 years and discussed its future direction. During the meeting, the Ministers attached great importance to cooperation on the COVID-19 pandemic response and the post COVID-19 recovery through trade and investment, human resource development, particularly in the areas of science, technology and ICT, MSMEs empowerment and tourism cooperation. The Meeting adopted the Joint Ministerial Statement and witnessed the inauguration of MGC website (http://mgc.gov.in) and the trailer of MGC documentary.

On this occasion, Vice Minister Vijavat proposed the “4Ps” way forward for the MGC cooperation in order to enhance its strategic relevance and revitalise MGC, as follows:

(1) formulating a new Plan of Action (POA) that reflects the shifting geo-political and geo-economic landscape and the pivoting of the global center of gravity towards the Indo-Pacific region of which the Mekong sub-region is situated in the middle. The Thai side suggested MGC reactivate the lead-country system and assign a lead country/prime mover to all of its 10 areas of cooperation;

(2) enhancing public health cooperation to ensure affordable and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines and medicines, including cooperation in traditional medicine in which India has expertise;

(3) promoting post-COVID-19 recovery through enhancing connectivity, such as the Trilateral Highway Project between India - Myanmar - Thailand and coastal shipping cooperation; accelerating digital transformation; maintaining open trade; and promoting roles of private sector, as well as the quadruple partnership between public, private, academic and people sectors in the MGC cooperation; and

(4) Promoting synergy between MGC and other sub-regional frameworks, especially ACMECS, ASEAN and BIMSTEC of which Thailand will assume the chairmanship before the end of this year.
 
MGC was founded in 2000 with the objective to enhance connectivity and economic cooperation between India and Mekong countries, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. It is the first sub-regional cooperation framework between the Mekong sub-region and an external partner.